Matt Ritchie showed some guts when he decided to leave Premier League club Bournemouth and join Newcastle in the summer after he had talked to manager Rafa Benitez about what he wanted to do with Newcastle after Rafa had agreed to stay on at Newcastle, even though we are in the second division.
It’s always good to have players who want to come to the club and Dwight Gayle was another player who dropped down a division from Crystal Palace to join Rafa’s revolution.
Matt Ritchie in action for Newcastle
Both players were betting that Newcastle would come straight back up and while we are still very well positioned in the Championship in an automatic promotion spot, we have had a few hiccups over the last eight games.
Four to be exact since we have amazingly lost four of those games and that’s the total number of defeats we had in the season of 46 games seven years ago when we won the Championship and came straight back up.
Matt Ritchie has been interviewed in the EFL Podcast this week and he’s still confident about where Newcastle are going:
“It’s not all doom and gloom, we have lost a couple of games but it would be an unusual season if you went through it unbeaten.”
“We need to bounce back and get back on the kind of run we have been on.”
“The form we were in we would have liked to have picked up more points over the Christmas period but it’s a tough league and we know every game is a difficult test.”
“It’s a bit of a stumble but hopefully we can continue the good form from the first half of the season into the second half.”
“The results are not completely down to Jonjo Shelvey being missing because we have lost games with him in the team.”
“Everyone knows the quality he brings to the team. His attributes are fantastic and any team would miss him.”
“He’s a big player for us but we have a good squad with very good players in that position and collectively we need to improve on the last couple of results.”
“I have come to a club in the Championship but with the squad and manager we have, there is a great opportunity to get back into the Premier League.”
“Then I’m at a fantastic club that is geared up for the Premier League with a huge fanbase so it’s a risk I was willing to take.”
“We want to get promoted but we want to win the league – I have won it before and it’s fantastic.” “Hopefully we can do it this season.”
Here’s where we stand at the moment, which is not too bad as long as we can get back to our winning ways shortly.